Practitioners’ Perceptions of Play-Based Pedagogy on the Holistic Development of Young Children

Nonhlanhla Ntshangase(1), Roy Venketsamy(2*)

(1) University of Pretoria
(2) University of Pretoria
(*) Corresponding Author


South Africa has made remarkable progress in trying to improve early childhood education by introducing the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) in 2015. The NCF encourages practitioners to engage young children in play-based activities to improve their physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development, as core developmental skills. The main objective of this study was to explore practitioners’ perceptions of play-based pedagogy on the holistic development of young children. The qualitative approach was used to collect information through semi-structured interviews and lesson observations from five participants in the Mpumalanga Province. This study found that despite the Department of Basic Education mandating the implementation of play-based pedagogy in early childhood centers through the National Curriculum Framework challenges are experienced by practitioners. Practitioners had a good understanding of play-based pedagogy and play-based teaching and learning, but they needed continuous professional development and support to implement it in classrooms


Play-based pedagogy; play-based teaching and learning; holistic development; young children; Early Childhood Development

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